Cities are complex systems. The components of urban systems, from food distribution networks and energy grids to transport and greenways, are interconnected and dynamic. Intervening to create change in any one of these components may impact others, creating systemic change. Designing solutions that take these interconnections into account is critical to sustainable development.
The five ICLEI pathways towards low emission, nature-based, equitable, resilient and circular development are designed to create systemic change. When these pathways guide local and regional development, urban systems becomes more sustainable. The pathways provide provide a framework for designing integrated solutions that balance the patterns of human life and the built and natural environments. They encourage holistic thinking. For instance, working together, the local and regional governments and global experts of ICLEI consider how nature-based development contributes to resilience, or how to bring equity into low emission development.
We design our work to integrate as many pathways as possible. Each individual pathway is multidimensional, incorporating numerous strategies for sustainable development. When more pathways are integrated into any given activity, such as a project, partnership or initiative, a greater degree of change can occur. Often, our activities are guided by a predominant pathway or set of pathways. In any given city or region, multiple activities may be implemented along each pathway.
This searchable digital collection of our activities worldwide includes technical resources, including digital platforms, methodologies and tools, as well as networks, projects, programs, partnerships, events and initiatives that guide action along the pathways, spark new partnerships and create city-to-city and city-to-region connections.
Each entry in this digital collection is marked with predominant pathways, keywords and related Sustainable Development Goals.
We provide a global platform for local and city-region biodiversity and nature-based targets, highlighting solutions and tools to mainstream green infrastructure options into all sectors such as planning, budgeting, health, water and infrastructure. (globally)
We work as part of the City Climate Planner Certificate Program to train and certify professionals working with greenhouse gas inventories, offering skills development in designing, planning and implementing green growth initiatives, in order to increase the global talent base of local climate planning specialists. (globally)
We implement City Learning Labs to gather a broad range of knowledge-holders and decision-makers in developing a deep, shared understanding of the most critical urban issues linked to climate in European cities. (Europe)
We promote and enable subnational government engagement in food policy and action with a focus on the global targets and ambitions articulated in Sustainable Development Goal 2 and through initiatives such as the Milan Food Pact. (8 cities, 1 region: Africa)
We promote food security, social inclusion, economic development and environmental resource management by combining networking with training, policy guidance and technical expertise on city-region food systems worldwide. (20+ cities: globally)
We enable cities in North America to calculate, forecast, plan and monitor emissions under all community and local government operation protocols through the ClearPath online suite of emissions management tools. (383 cities: North America)
We collect and create new nature-based solutions for cities, defining new models for financing and implementation and scaling-up good practices by transferring knowledge between world regions to bring nature-based development to cities globally. (25 cities: East Asia, Europe, South America)
We promote the implementation of short-lived climate pollutant reduction strategies by mobilizing and empowering the health sector and demonstrating the full range of health benefits that can be achieved at the city level. (Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia)
We engage cities in refining and mainstreaming innovative mechanisms for climate change adaptation and greater human well being through nature-based solutions. (Europe, South America)
We strengthen the capacities of cities in Africa to provide access to sufficient, sustainable and safe energy and related services to urban and peri-urban populations, with special attention to energy efficiency and renewable energy as drivers for local low emission, climate resilient, sustainable development. (13 cities: Africa)